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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

There oughta be a treaty against this

Is the current Spirit Mountain Casino TV ad the worst thing ever, or what? I'm talking about the one that plays throughout the Blazer telecasts. A bunch of out-of-work drama club alumni butcher what was a halfway decent pop song by Petula Clark, and try in vain to sell a wasted day in front of a slot machine and in a buffet line as something one might dream wistfully about. When they cut to a Native American lady doing the hokey-pokey as she deals some goofball a blackjack, my most recent meal moves an inch or two back in the direction from whence it came. Plus, the dancing with insane glee over a nasty habit that destroys the lives of so many people is nothing short of macabre.

And couldn't they have paid whoever laid that egg enough to lay two, so that we don't have to suffer through the same atrocity dozens and dozens of times over the course of the season? I hear the CIA is requesting a DVD of the current spot for use in Guantánamo.

Then there are the "Save the Gorge" ads on the radio, opposing the proposed new casino in Cascade Locks. "One casino per tribe... It's fair... Brought to you by the Concerned Environmentalists for Mom and Apple Pie... We're looking out for the wildlife." My eye. Brought to you by the competition. Looking to snag Grandma's Social Security checks before the nursing home takes them.

Comments (36)

Happy pills, Jack.

The "Save the Gorge" ads are hard for me to take, considering who they are coming from.

The Petula Clark thing has been around for awhile, hasn't it?

Couldn't agree with you more Jack. The couple of times I've walked in to the casino at the beach all I've seen are long faces sitting at the machines. Now I avoid even eating there.

Listened to an interview with one of the state reps yesterday and heard two things about the gorge casino I had not heard before.

1. The 1 casino per tribe deal will still be in effect. They will shut down the older casino once the new one is running.

2. The tribe owns land in the middle of Hatfield park that they can build a casino on right now. For those of you who don't know, that's in the scenic area. Instead, as part of the proposal, that land gets turned over to the state in return for building the new casino in an area already zoned light industrial. You know, where an old sawmill used to sit.

What kills me is it will only be one casino, as the new one will replace the one at Kaneta. And they could build a casino out there on their land that is inside a state park...(cant remember the name), but instead they want to clean up some industrial land on the site of an old sawmill and put it there.
But the ads dont tell you that. And Cascade Locks WANTS the casino. You know, all the development $$ and pesky jobs & such.

"IIIIIIII know a place where we can gooooooooo" and lose all our cash.

In many ways, "Save the Gorge" is a revenue gold mine for the MSM.

As annoying as that casino ad is I think the title for "Most Cringe-Inducing PDX Commercial of All Time" goes to a local loan company. It always seemed to air during syndicated episodes of The Simpsons on KPDX about a year ago. It co-stared a guy in a kangaroo costume straight out of a Toys R' Us ad.

The Mattress World couple's oeuvre belongs right up there too.

While I totally agree that anyone with a sane mind would never have given that ad the go-ahead, let alone the amount of airplay, don't you think "the dancing with insane glee over a nasty habit that destroys the lives of so many people is nothing short of macabre" is a little dramatic? Just like with alcohol, the vast majority of "users" are able to partake without a (detrimental) negative impact.

At least the tribal casinos aren't throwing "free" drinks at the patrons like they do in vegas...

I love to drive the family crazy by singing that whole commercial at the top of my lungs.

Another putrid commercial is the KPDX 49 promo: some Sammy Hagar-looking yahoo sings a ridiculous song touting Portland and KPDX.


Here are links to some much more clever commercials that might be familiar to Portlanders, even though the company is located in the Seattle area:

The Save the Gorge fanatics have been stifling to say the least. Having visited the gorge many times I have realized how lacking in facilities it is. It's a shame such a fantastic place doesn't have more Restaurants, hotel-motel rooms, Sun River-like resorts, marinas and golf courses etc. so families can enjoy it more.

Instead we're supposed to be entertained by a Gorge "Interpretive Center".
One the most lamest things to come down the pike in recent years.

So are the Interpretive placards every city around thinks they need all over.


The Mattress World couple's oeuvre belongs right up there too.

There is actually a hidden pleasure in watching those commercials, Brandon. As my wife just noticed seeing that spot a few days ago, the sleeping kid stays the same age, but the couple keeps getting older, and the husband keeps getting fatter.

It's a shame such a fantastic place doesn't have more Restaurants, hotel-motel rooms, Sun River-like resorts, marinas and golf courses etc. so families can enjoy it more

hmmmmmmm--it is very difficult to hold back a smart-aleck response to this...

If the enviros are worried about the casino spawning too much traffic, why don't they lobby to shut down one of Oregon's largest tourist attractions....Multnomah Falls?

"Most lamest".

That must be pretty bad, indeed.

I think the Gorge, as envisioned by Ben, would be perfect, if it only also had a tram. Rim Shot

Oh! Is that what the ad's about?! I'm too busy waiting for the shot of the cute blonde gal to worry about content. She's hot!!!

If the enviros are worried about the casino spawning too much traffic, why don't they lobby to shut down one of Oregon's largest tourist attractions....Multnomah Falls?

Geez, dont give them ideas. (Although I bet they have thought about it already.)
Enviro groups like the Gorge Commission and the Oregon Natural Resources Council would be happiest if we just turned the entire state into a park that nobody could enter.

Enviro groups like the Gorge Commission and the Oregon Natural Resources Council would be happiest if we just turned the entire state into a park that nobody could enter.

You forgot the part about herding all the people from the "park" into the human habitrail that is their vision of Portland.

"Plus, the dancing with insane glee over a nasty habit that destroys the lives of so many people is nothing short of macabre."

But doncha know "It's for the kids!!"

That's why the Novick campaign is squawking loudly about how Steve was key in trying to get the percentage paid out on video poker concessionaires reduced, you know, so more money is available "for the kids".

The more you gamble, the more money is available "for the kids"!

That is also the mantra from the two guys in Lake Oswego, who want to convert the old race track to a jumbo casino. Keep Oregon's gamblers out of the Washington state casino, and keep them right here in Oregon, with the $100's of millions in extra gambling revenues "for the kids"!

Oh Please, the "for the kids" song is a regular karaoke gig by the OEA and Government across Oregon.

How Steve Novick thinks handing over more to the goverment is "for the kids" is beyond me. Especially when Novick has supported spending it on mamouth wastes like CIMCAM.
Personally I have no objection to the Gorge casino, but would rather have the non-indian private sector allowed the same. Certainly that would produce more revenue for the State and the "kids".

Or for economic development by our braintrusts in city halls.
Oh that made me sick.

If the enviros are worried about the casino spawning too much traffic, why don't they lobby to shut down one of Oregon's largest tourist attractions....Multnomah Falls?

because we didn't build Multnomah Falls. we have a choice in the Casino matter.

Enviro groups like the Gorge Commission and the Oregon Natural Resources Council would be happiest if we just turned the entire state into a park that nobody could enter.

i doubt that.

There too many trees in the Gorge and too few casinos, marinas, and golf courses. Why the hell would anyone would take their family on vacation there? To look at nature? Multnomah Falls?! Find me a decent buffet and a water slide for the kids and then we've got something.

Find me a decent buffet and a water slide for the kids and then we've got something.

there's a water slide at the top of the falls. send them there.

Uh come on now. That's what I want more facilities for. So that when families go up the gorge to visit waterfalls and nature they can stay longer, overnight, a few nights, at quality places.

The gorge is vast. There's nothing wrong with having more in it for people.

And it doesn't translate into stopping anyone from visiting the natural beauty. It helps. The far end of the gorge where Marysville is has an RV park but that area would be great for a full scale
resort and marina.

The whole gorge is needlessly way under utilized. Needlessly because only the irrational hysteria of loosing it all
keeps it that way.
And having qaulity
I like to stay in quality

Ben:...when families go up the gorge to visit waterfalls and nature they can stay longer, overnight, a few nights, at quality places.

For once, I have no problem with something you said. But that's not at all what this casino proposal is about.

The gorge is vast.

Wrong. It's a linear strip of land on both sides of the Columbia, bounded on the Oregon side by the Hatfield Wilderness just 4-5 miles away by trail (much less as the crow flies). Much of the river-level land both inside and outside UGB areas is already consumed by I-84 and the railroad.

The far end of the gorge where Marysville is has an RV park but that area would be great for a full scale resort and marina.

And just beyond that is the NSA boundary, where such development isn't so restricted - especially since this is Klickitat County we're talking about. So ask yourself - why hasn't this happened yet?

The whole gorge is needlessly way under utilized...because only the irrational hysteria of loosing it all keeps it that way.

If you really have visited waterfalls and viewed nature, you wouldn't say this. Think Eagle Creek. And this is especially true for the wilderness areas, where the Forest Service has documented an overuse level that is stretching them beyond the definition of wilderness.

And having qaulity. I like to stay in quality.

Try backpacking the gorge. Just not in the wilderness areas, please. And leave your guns at home.

Rettig, if you really knew the land use zoning laws, or if you do, told the truth, then you would inform the reader that "The Gorge is vast".

I've done projects in the Gorge that were outside the vast boundaries of the Gorge Commission boundaries. One project was over 10 miles outside, in the Mosier area. But because it could be seen from within the boundaries, there were extensive restrictions.

I'm not saying the intent of Gorge Scenic designation is wrong, but it is far reaching. Of course "vast" is a subjective subject. Have you ever seen the maps of the area that is included beyond the boundaries that are visually seen from within the boundaries. Ask the Commission for the square miles all this includes.

I am aware of these so-called areas, yes. But the topic of discussion is Cascade Locks, roughly in the geographic center of the Gorge. To the south, Mount Hood NF and Hatfield Wilderness. To the north on the Washington side, Gifford Pinchot National Forest and maybe some Washington DNR lands. In between, two narrow strips of land, and a river.

It's hemmed in. We have to be careful with urban lands available in this area, and how they're developed. Bad decisions stick with us a long time.

I'll stand by my comments.

BTW did you (or your client) get the project approved in Mosier? My guess is yes, with some extra cost for the considerations you mentioned. What's the problem if, as you say, you don't diagree with the scenic area designation?

I think Jack's use of the casino was a metaphor for the point he is attempting to make about the whole Gorge and environmentalists.

The Mosier client never did build their home because they wanted a one story house with a portion with a two story master suite crows nest. Gorge Commission, Wasco Co. said it would be intrusive and from ten miles from the river it might be seen. The ten acre site already had a one bedroom cabin where the home was to go. He was an artist (fantastic) that tried to be sensitive, but they gave up.

Another example was near Mosier across the river on the WA side. Owner had over 100 acres. You may know of the approx. area. It is above the large fault-geological line that slowly descends into the river. There are only single pine trees on the property. Owner wanted to build a home (existing pole barn on site). Since there were only sporadic trees, the Commission said there were no places to "hide" the home where it could blend in and disappear. Never built.

Rettig, that is why real examples are important to understand how land use laws, Gorge Commissions, LCDC, etc. really has affected property rights. They have disgruntled people and it is continuing and there is fallout coming.

I've lost jobs, and I have executed many beautiful homes, projects where we have been able to slip something through. Call me evil. And I am an environmentalist with sense.

So, lw, aside from the issue of whether or not the rules should be in place - and we'll probably differ on that, so I won't go there - you sometimes represent clients who are attempting to build trophy houses on large rural parcels, who are quite willing to walk if they can't get their way around the rules. But you do manage to sometimes slip some through. And you are an environmentalist with sense. Got it.

Sounds like both the business plan and the personal ethics behind it could be in need of some adjustment - just going by your own description of the situation here.

Rettig, you fell into the trap. You make assumptions. Most projects, homes I've been involved in are not "trophy homes". The two bedroom home outside Mosier was about 1100 sq. ft., probably less that your adobe. You should have seen the paint, material requirements if they could have proceeded. Another Gorge home completed was one of Oregon first "environmentally sensitive" insulated panel system homes where panels were manufactured in the TriCities and shipped to the site and assembled. Some of these projects have been featured in national publications just for their modesty.

I guess you don't get the point, look at the individual cases and not your broad brush assumptions. How do you know my personal and business ethics?


What a spin on lw's comments.

The rules are asinine but let's not go there.
I'm sure lw's clients who faced insurmountable obstacles were not "quite willing" to walk. They were forced to abandon their plans having no success getting beyond the often subjective but always extreme rules.
Rules that are far in excess of environmental sense.
As far as "managing to sometimes slip some through", that only means some get built despite the obstructionist attempts to stop projects on subjective technicalities and manipulated interpretations.
Got it?

lw: OK, I'll give you the point on the structure - 1100 sq ft would have been pretty modest - but you conveniently ignored my point about the large parcel it sits on (over 100 acres). The questions I would ask here are (1) What's the zoning, (2) Was the reason the home needed to be situated there tied to the land? (3) What would have been the long term prospects for the house staying at 1100 sq ft? The last question is theoretical, of course, but it's a real consideration - houses last 50 or 100 years, but bad land use deciions go on far longer than the life of the initial structure that's approved.

Ben - It looks like you have indeed "gone there". And now who's assuming? LW didn't say there were insurmountable obstacles on the 10 acre site; to the contrary, it could have gone onto the footprint of the existing cabin without the hassle - but it sounds like the client wanted something bigger with two stories, and gave up.

I'm somewhat familiar with the area of the 100 acre site, and I might agree with the "no way to hide" decision of Wasco County if I had knowledge of the specific boundaries, which I don't. But - very broadly speaking here - homesites are usually chosen for their view potential, which - no surprise - means that the house can also be seen from the very areas that the homeowner wants the view of - the problem with he Bea house is a good example here. If there were options to hide the structure on the property and the owner refused, then I blame them, not the laws. And yes, LW, I have no proof that this is the case here.

And BTW I'm living in a 1700 sq. foot urban condo that has 2 units on a 50' x 100' R-5 lot - so essentially I'm occupying 2,500 sq feet of land.

You fell again, you didn't read carefully. I wrote that the OR Mosier house was originally a one bedroom cabin on ten acres which the code allowed. It was probably about 50 years old. The owners who had owned it several years wanted to remodel extensively with a master suite above a portion of the homes footprint-a partial second story addition tucked in the sloping roof form. This then made the home approx. 1100 sq. ft. But you go off and make up stories about the whole project without knowing one thing about it.
1)The base zoning allowed it. 2)The home was already there, yes it was tied to the land with a foundation. 3)The home WAS at 1100 sq. ft.-60% less than yours.

Our design premise was that it was better to put the addition in the roof form-second story, to not increase the footprint on the beautiful sloping site. We didn't want to disturb the somewhat open site with several pine, fir trees next to the existing house with increased expansion. How is this a "bad" land use decision? And why should you or others be the final judge of what is "bad".

Your nitpicking, arguments just help the points I am trying to make-sometimes and many times there is no sense in reviews; there is only a mantra-nothing is better. It was merely someone or more on the Gorge Commission review process that wanted to see nothing from the boundaries even though it already existed. Know the facts before you make them up to suite your mantra.

LW - asking legitimate questions to ascertan some information isn't making up stories. And you know what the term "Tied to the land" means - i.e. was the need for the residence being there associated with any activity of the land it sat on. But that's somewhat moot now that you have revealed that the cabin was ~50 years old and would have been grandfathered anyway.

And, since I'm already accused of nitpicking, I'll make a minor one: 1,100 is 35% less than 1,700, not 60%.

I have one final question and then I'll let this go - I don't know that anyone beyond us is reading at this point anyway: What was the proposed size of the WA Mosier structure on the 100 acre site? Just for the record.

Okay, back to the original point of the post: annoying earworm commercials. I just finished watching a Blazer rerun, turned off the sound to the TV and plugged in the soundtrack for Natural Born Killers. That commercial is so much more entertaining when the blonde bus person, the 'think I'm in love!' guy and the Asian blackjack dealer are dancing to L7's 'Shit List'...


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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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